FBR Considers Establishing a Directorate of Inquiries

The Federal Board of Revenue is considering establishing a Directorate of Inquiries headed by a professional from outside it.

Officials told ProPakistani that the matter is being mulled over by the tax department, and that its head is to be hired either on a contract basis or be requisitioned of services on a deputation basis.

They said that the department is also evolving a mechanism to financially reward the inquiry officer in order to ensure the speedy disposal of the inquiries to be conducted in a transparent manner.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has also notified the office of the Chief Commissioner-IR to function as an Ombudsman to deal effectively with complaints related to corruption/highhandedness.

Sources added that FBR and the customs officers, in particular, were reportedly found involved in tax fraud and the theft of goods from state warehouses but the department high ups do not put them in criminal proceedings.

The Federal Investigation Agency has also registered a First Information Report against the customs officers and clearing agents based on allegations of their involvement in tax fraud.

Sources said that FIA has to intervene because of the weak prosecution of the tax department.

The Special Judge for Customs, Taxation, and Anti-smuggling Karachi has also ordered the FBR to appoint honest and efficient officers who will try not to exempt the officers of the department involved in tax frauds from criminal proceedings.

The court stated the FBR had lodged many First Information Reports (FIRs) for tax fraud but the department had not nominated the departmental officers involved in these frauds in the FIRs and the criminal proceedings,

The FBR’s perspective is that the department has a zero-tolerance policy for corruption of all shades and grades. It recently either suspended or dismissed over 100 officials and officers, and the abovementioned strict action clearly reflects the seriousness of its inquiries.

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